The republic of South Sudan is in deep social, economic and political crises. There seems no exit out of this situation except by complete destruction and transformation of Kiir’s ethnocentric totalitarian regime. The IGAD and international community’s attempts to revitalize the agreement on resolution of conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) signed in August 2015 will only raise false hopes in the people. The CoH signed on 21st December is already a dead document consequent to its violation before the ink dried on the paper. The February 2018 resumption is likely to carry no meaningful impact due to competing respective national security, economic and political interests of these countries, their lack of legal and diplomatic tools to force the regime to implement the agreement or any of its variants, and fragmentation of the political and armed opposition to the regime.
The political and military weakness of the SPLM/A (IO), which inadvertently led to the proliferation of political and armed opposition groups and the resultant collective weakness inherent in their divisions and in-fighting created a political military situation that allows the regime to perpetuate itself in power in spite of the deepening economic collapse, state failure and collapse of its institutions. The regime is banking on the military defeat of the SPLM/A (IO) and ensnaring the people into believing that peace is around the corner. The people of South Sudan enter the New Year 2018 without hope for peace, social harmony and meaningful change in their economic hardship. The continued government military offensive throughout the 2017 preventing the rural population from engaging in agriculture and food production means that famine, already recorded in many places, is bound to force mass displacement and heightened humanitarian catastrophe in South Sudan In fact, millions are already in refugee camps in DR Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. The civil war has raged this long because the regime, the armed opposition and the political opposition stand on the same ideological platform.
The dominance of right-wing idiosyncrasies prevented the evolution and cultivation in the SPLM/A (IO) of scientific knowledge of the contradiction underpinning the civil war, and the emergence of critical and strategic thinking in the conduct of the war and charting the appropriate solutions. This rendered peace with the regime its leadership’s overriding preoccupation in order to recapture the lost power position, while Kiir’s lack of interest in power sharing rekindled the fighting and returned the country to war. Power for its sake rather than destruction and transformation of the totalitarian regime drives the divisions within the opposition and absorbs their political energy. This struggle centred on leadership and personal power will therefore soon lead the opposition groups to a dead end. The SPLM/A (IO) now managed from a house arrest in South Africa may not sustain itself without an ideological shift, and as long as some individuals in the membership entertain the falsehood that only Dr. Riek Machar can provide leadership notwithstanding his personal failures
The SPLM as a leading political force in South Sudan has outlived its relevance consequent to the CPA 2005 and the independence of South Sudan in 2011, which both terminated the task of war of national liberation. The present situation is a direct product of the SPLM leadership failure and explains why attempts at reunification of the SPLM (IG), SPLM (Taban Deng Gai) and SPLM (FPDs) bordering of treacherous auction of South Sudan’s sovereignty in Cairo and Entebbe, is not making any headway. Although ideological basis exist for reunification of those factions nevertheless their greed for power and lack of concern for the suffering of the people does not allow them to sacrifice individual positions.
The current political crisis in the country should be viewed in positive light as the drivers of change and social transformation. The fundamental contradictions remain the centuries-old condition of socio-economic and cultural backwardness of the masses manifested in abject poverty, ignorance, illiteracy and superstition that submerged their consciousness and render them susceptible to manipulation by the political leaders. The ethnocentric totalitarian regime will not succeed to resolve this fundamental contradiction even if it won the civil war as long as it pursues liberal economic policies that link South Sudan, in an asymmetrical relationship, to the global comprador capitalism in the context of extraction and plunder of its natural resources. The essence of national liberation was to completely free the national productive forces from every kind of foreign domination.
South Sudan is living what the Marxist categorize as the stage of national democratic revolution. The masses of South Sudan are inspired by freedom, justice, fraternity and prosperity. They readily mobilize and engage in armed struggle to realize these ideals. They did this as Anya-nya during the first civil war against the oppressive regime in Khartoum; they did it again as Anya-nya 2 against General Gaafar Mohamed Nimeri; they rose in their tens of thousands in the SPLM/A in the twenty-one year war of national liberation from the minority clique regimes. They are now in arms against Kiir’s ethnocentric totalitarian regime. The missing link in their struggle remains the inability of the right-wing leadership to tie up the struggle against Kiir’s regime to the issues of social and economic development to transform the oppressive reality that submerges their consciousness. Thus, in the last four years it was a war for personal power not for transforming the oppressive reality. This is obvious in the areas that the SPLM/A (IO) had controlled since 2013. There is nothing to show for the struggle the people have waged.
It has become imperative to break this vicious cycle. The way to do it is for all the patriotic revolutionary and democratic forces wherever they are whether in the different political and military factions or in the civil society to rise to the task of saving the country from imminent collapse, dismemberment and disappearance into the oblivion. Let us make the year 2018, the year of decisive action against the war for personal power ambition. We can make a difference by mobilizing, organizing and unifying our ranks across ethnic and provincial lines to transform this situation into a revolution; the national democratic revolution and the construction of the national democratic state to address the fundamental contradictions in state and society. This requires us to create discussion groups and fora to educate ourselves and our people about the tasks before us and to build consensus around these issues. Whether a soldier, a civilian; a politician or a laity you have an important role to play in transforming this situation of apathy and helplessness. Let us raise high social awareness and political consciousness.
The time to save our country is now or never!! 2018 is the year of decisive action!!! Soon, unless there is decisive action, life under the regime will equal death!!!!
Long live the struggle of the people of South Sudan
Long live the memory of the martyrs
Long Live South Sudan.
Peter Adwok Nyaba
31st December 2017